OnLive, venerable streamer of instant-action cloud interfaces, just announced a brand new tier to their Desktop product: OnLive Desktop Plus, which brings the Internet Explorer browser to their Windows 7 cloud desktop for your iPad. It's not only very, very fast but includes Flash.
Priced at just $4.99 a month, OnLive Desktop Plus includes all the (already commendable) features of OnLive Desktop--quick refresher, that's MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint, 2GB of cloud storage space, a few other touch game apps and Windows Media Player for HD videos--and now, they're tossing Adobe Reader and Internet Explorer into the mix. Since the lack of a browser was one of our previous quibbles with the original app, it's nice to know that the company listened to feedback.
The Browsing Experience
It gets even better: OnLive Desktop Plus offers the browsing experience at stunningly fast gigabit speeds, since the actual processing is done on the company's powerful remote servers hosted thousands of miles away. And this is no dinky mobile browser, either. Internet Explorer behaves exactly as you would expect the browser on your desktop back home to behave, so you can load full Flash websites in all their glory--and have these sites completely remade to respond to your touch. That's a first for any app on iOS, as far as we know. You can also download Web mail attachments from Gmail, Yahoo, and cloud storage files like Dropbox directly onto your cloud desktop.
We loaded the animation-heavy Mercedes Benz website, and were thoroughly impressed by how quickly it loaded. The picture of the desktop blurred periodically before coming into focus, but that was an issue with streaming the desktop to our tablet (rather, an issue with our sluggish Wi-Fi network at the office), and not a connection problem that has to do with OnLive's servers.
In order to test browser speeds objectively, we visited speedtest.net and checked what sort of upload and download speeds we got. The results didn't disappoint. We found that we notched a download speed of 92.77 Mbps and an upload speed of 72.32 Mbps.
OnLive has managed to make an already-impressive app even better with this latest iteration. “Experiencing a full Flash-enabled Web experience at gigabit speeds on iPad is nothing short of breathtaking, and OnLive Desktop Plus is your ticket to ride,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. “Combine that with OnLive Desktop’s full-featured Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader PC applications and not only do you have the world’s fastest mobile browser, but the world’s most powerful productivity tools literally at your fingertips.”
The app is available for the iPad now in the US. Android users can look forward to their own dedicated version coming soon, and native variants for the PC and Mac are slated to follow as well. If you need the added functionality of OnLive Desktop Plus, you can sign up for an account at www.desktop.onlive.com.